Teleconference: Mark Gottfried

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried fielded questions from the media on his weekly teleconference.

Opening Statement:
I think starting off, we've got a very challenging game with Boston College. I know they didn't play well yesterday, but prior to that game, they've gotten a lot better. So we understand that we've got a tough challenge on Wednesday with them, and we've got to finish strong.

So we know it, and I think our guys will be ready to play Wednesday night.

Can you indulge me a quick look back at the Carolina game. Them going four smallish guys around McAdoo and reinventing that way, what challenges did they present and how do they materialize in that game for you guys?
Here's the thing. I think a little too much is being made out of the four guard deal with North Carolina. He put his best five scorers on the floor regardless of how tall they are.

Bullock and Hairston are both good sized wing players. In college basketball today, that's not uncommon at all to see that. So they're a more confident team. With Hairston on the floor as opposed to Hubert who they were starting inside, they've got somebody who has the potential to get 20 on a given night.

So I think he's just playing his best players and doing a good job with it.

McAdoo at the 5 is technically out of position. But are there ways that that becomes an advantage for them or just a tradeoff deal when you put a guy in that slot?
Yeah, I don't think in college basketball the numbers of a four or a five are nearly as significant as they are at the next level.

Obviously, McAdoo is their best post player, period. Just like so many other teams in America, we play our best post player inside, and that's what they're doing now, period.

Again, I just think when they have five guys on the floor that can score as opposed to playing with four which they've done this year, they're obviously a lot better.

I wanted to ask about moving Tony Warren into the starting lineup, and how well that's worked out? Just looking at the numbers, it looks like he's gone from being a fairly mediocre rebounder to a very good rebounder in the last week or so. Can you address that?
I just think with T.J., it's something that we've talked to him about. He got the opportunity to be in the starting lineup, and one thing he can bring is giving us an additional rebounder. I don't want him to be in the lineup just so he can score more points.

He's got to defend well and rebound well, And we've talked to him about that.

So I think he's responded. He's getting to the glass, finding ways to rebound the ball, and I think that's important.

Can you address his defense? Have you been happy with that?
Well, like with most freshmen, coaches, we nitpick everybody to death. I think he can get better there. But I do think he's paying attention and trying to figure out exactly how to guard, and he makes mistakes like everybody else. But I think he's been pretty solid defensively.

As T.J.'s minutes have gone up and he's playing more, and Rodney's have gone down, and his production has declined quite a bit, any concerns about his game and how he's responded to coming off the bench now?
I thought he did really well at North Carolina. You know, it's not easy, I understand that. As it wasn't easy when T.J. didn't start for T.J.

But it's a different role for Rodney than he had most of the season. And I did like the fact that over in Chapel Hill he came in, gave us a great lift. I thought he did pretty good. So I've told those three freshmen they all need to be ready. They all need to contribute, and it could be different on each specific night.

Right now, that's the way we're going to go, and they need to do well in the roles that they're in.

You mentioned finishing strong in these last four regular season games. How important is it for your crusty old veterans, so to speak, Scott Wood and Howell in particular, to be consistent and really step up and lead the way down the stretch?
Well, those two guys have, there's no question. I just think we have four, what I call veteran players and you want those four guys to be at their best this time of the year and be consistent, and do everything within their power to help their team win. We need that from those guys.

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